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Approaches to Teaching Puig's Kiss of the Spider Woman

Manuel Puig's 1976 Kiss of the Spider Woman, translated into English in 1979 and adapted as an Academy Award-winning film, expanded the idiom of the novel (mixing cinema, fiction, romance, and song) and challenged the third-person narration that was dominant in Latin American Boom fiction. Students are drawn to the conversational style of the novel and the melodramatic seductions of the tale, but they need guidance to appreciate the novel's richness as a work of literature. This volume of the MLA's Approaches to Teaching series suggests ways instructors can help students grasp the novel's exploration of state and sexual politics and discern the strategies of narration that underlie the conversations between the two main characters.

In part 1, "Materials," the editors discuss versions and translations of the novel, provide readings and resources, give an overview of the historical and political background of 1970s Argentina, and outline the author's biography. The thirteen essays in part 2, "Approaches," written by distinguished scholars of Latin American literature, offer close textual analysis, examine the author's use of cinematic references, and present suggestions for teaching Héctor Babenco's film adaptation alongside the written text.

About the Authors

Daniel Balderston is professor of Spanish at the University of Iowa. Recent books include Borges, realidades y simulcros (2000) and El deseo, enorme cicatriz luminosa: Ensayos sobre homosexualidades latinoamericanas (2002), and the Encyclopedia of Latin American and Caribbean Literature, 1900-2003 (2004). He is president of the Instituto Internacional de Literature Iberoamericana. Francine Masiello is Sidney and Margaret Ancker Professor in the Humanities and teaches Spanish and comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Lenguaje e ideología: Las escuelas argentinas de vanguardia (1986), Between Civilization and Barbarism: Women, Nation, and Culture in Modern Argentina (1992), La mujer el espacio público: El periodismo femenino en la Argentina del siglo XIX (1994), and The Art of Transition: Latin American Literature and Neoliberal Crisis (2001).

Reviews

"This is a remarkable collection of first-rate essays. The various discourses and approaches—political, sexual, intertexual, cinematic—all bounce off each other well and inform each other." —Bruce Williams, William Paterson University

9780873528177 : approaches-to-teaching-puigs-kiss-of-the-spider-woman-balderston-masiello
Hardback
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